Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.151 Aeschin. 3.160 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.166

3.157

But since you were not present in person, yet in imagination behold their disaster; imagine that you see their city taken, the razing of their walls, the burning of their homes; their women and children led into captivity; their old men, their aged matrons, late in life learning to forget what freedom means; weeping, supplicating you, angry not so much at those who are taking vengeance upon them, as at the men who are responsible for it all and calling on you by no means to crown the curse of Hellas, but rather to guard yourselves against the evil genius and the fate that ever pursue the man.

3.158

For there is no city, there is no private man—not one—that has ever come off safe after following Demosthenes' counsel. You have passed a law, fellow citizens, governing the men who steer the boats across the strait to Salamis; if one of them by accident overturns a boat in the strait, your law permits him no longer to be a ferryman, in order that no man may be careless of Greek lives; are you not then ashamed if this man, who has utterly overturned the city and all Hellas, if this man is to be permitted again to pilot the ship of state?

3.159

But that I may speak concerning the fourth period also, and the present situation, I wish to remind you of this fact, that Demosthenes not only deserted his post in the army, but his post in the city also; for he took possession of one of your triremes and levied money upon the Greeks. [Note] But when our unexpected safety [Note] had brought him hack to the city, during the first months the man was timid, and he came forward half-dead to the platform and urged you to elect him “preserver of the peace.” But as for you, you would not even let resolutions that were passed bear the name of Demosthenes as the mover, but gave that honor to Nausicles. And yet, to-day, here is Demosthenes actually demanding a crown!

3.160

But when Philip was dead and Alexander had come to the throne, Demosthenes again put on prodigious airs and caused a shrine to he dedicated to Pausanias [Note] and involved the senate in the charge of having offered sacrifice of thanksgiving as for good news. And he nicknamed Alexander “Margites”; [Note] and had the effrontery to say that Alexander would never stir out of Macedonia, for he was content, he said, to saunter around [Note] in Pella, and keep watch over the omens; and he said this statement was not based on conjecture, but on accurate knowledge, for valor was to be purchased at the price of blood. For Demosthenes, having no blood himself, formed his judgment of Alexander, not from Alexander's nature, but from his own cowardice.

3.161

But when now the Thessalians had voted to march against our city, and the young Alexander was at first bitterly angry—naturally [Note]—and when the army was near Thebes, Demosthenes, who had been elected ambassador by you, turned back when halfway across Cithaeron and came running home—useless in peace and war alike! And worst of all: while you did not surrender him [Note] nor allow him to be brought to trial in the synod of the Greeks, he has betrayed you now, if current report is true.

3.162

For, as the people of the Paralus say, [Note] and those who have been ambassadors to Alexander—and the story is sufficiently credible—there is one Aristion, a man of Plataean status, [Note] son of Aristobulus the apothecary, known perhaps to some of you. This young man, distinguished for extraordinary beauty of person, once lived a long time in Demosthenes' house (what he used to do there or what was done to him, is a scandal that is in dispute, and the story is one that would be quite improper for me to repeat). Now I am told that this Aristion, his origin and personal history being unknown to the king, is worming himself into favour with Alexander and getting access to him. Through him Demosthenes has sent a letter to Alexander, and has secured a certain degree of immunity for himself, and reconciliation; and he has carried his flattery to great lengths.

3.163

But see from the following how the facts tally with the charge. For if Demosthenes had been bent on war with Alexander, as he claims to have been, or had any thought of it, three of the best opportunities in the world have been offered to him, and, as you see, he has not seized one of them. One, the first, was when Alexander, newly come to the throne, and not yet fairly settled in his personal affairs, crossed into Asia. The king of Persia was at the height of his power then, with ships and money and troops,and he would gladly have received us into his alliance because of the dangers that were threatening him. But did you, Demosthenes, at that time say a word? Did you move a decree? Shall I assume that you followed your natural disposition and were frightened? And yet the public opportunity waits not for the orator's fears.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.151 Aeschin. 3.160 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.166

Powered by PhiloLogic